Common Cause.

Trying to isolate strongmen sometimes brings them closer together

On Oct. 17, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, calling the stop a "personal reminder that the Prince of Peace is still with us." A day earlier and a thousand miles away, two princes of a very different cut were having a remarkably peaceable summit of their own. Russia's Vladimir Putin and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--whose countries have for centuries either butchered each other or, failing that, just eyed each other bitterly across the Caspian Sea--met in Tehran, shook hands, declared mutual admiration and took a few winning photos.

Sun Tzu's advice to keep friends close...

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